17 June 2010
Chile: Climbing on Giants' Shoulders
Chile has made impressive progress in educational attainment. Yet, despite recent improvements, outcomes, as measured by PISA results, still need to catch up with OECD standards and equity problems should be addressed. One decisive ingredient will be better teachers. Chile should aim to attract...
01 Feb 2010
China's Financial Sector Reforms
Reforms to modernise and strengthen the financial sector have continued in recent years. The
cleaning-up of the stock of non-performing loans is largely completed and considerable progress has been
made in improving commercial banks’ corporate governance structures and risk management...
01 Feb 2010
China's Labour Market in Transition
Over the past decade, the share of jobs not controlled by the state has increased considerably, whilst
employment in agriculture has declined, against the backdrop of ongoing urbanisation. Over 200 million
people have been drawn into urban areas through official or unofficial migration, despite...
24 Sep 2012
Choosing the Pace of Fiscal Consolidation
In many OECD countries debt has soared to levels threatening fiscal sustainability, necessitating its
reduction over the medium to longer term. This paper uses stylised simulations in a small, calibrated
macroeconomic model which features endogenous interactions between fiscal policy, growth...
12 Sep 2012
Climate Change Policies in Germany
Germany reduced greenhouse gas emissions substantially but remains an important emitter. Ambitious targets for climate change mitigation have been fixed and a broad range of environmental measures are being implemented. The efficiency of these measures, as well as their coordination, should be...
24 Apr 2012
Climate Change Policies in Poland
Poland is on track to meet its international greenhouse-gas emissions commitments. However, it will need to cut emissions
significantly in the future, if the European Commission’s proposal on the Low Carbon Roadmap is adopted. Policies should
ensure that the country’s substantial reduction...
10 Aug 2011
Climate-Change Policy in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom started to pursue policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a relatively early date and now has a comprehensive set of measures in place. It has set clear targets for emission reductions consistent with international goals of limiting global warming and has pioneered...
14 Apr 2009
Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation Policies
There are local air pollution benefits from pursuing greenhouse gases emissions mitigation policies,
which lower the net costs of emission reductions and thereby may strengthen the incentives to participate
in a global climate change mitigation agreement. The main purpose of this paper is to...
01 Aug 2007
Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion in France
Reducing poverty and social exclusion is an important objective for all French governments. Even though
conventionally measured poverty is in fact lower than in most other countries, it is still higher than can be
easily accepted. The current policy approach involves a large number of measures...
01 Nov 1985
Commodity Prices in INTERLINK
This paper describes work on the determination of primary commodity prices in world spot markets and in trade. Reduced-form equations for four product group price indices are estimated as functions of OECD activity, world prices, interest rates, exchange rates, oil prices, and other variables....
16 Jan 2003
Comparative Analysis of Firm Demographics and Survival
This paper presents evidence on firm demographics and firm survival for a group of ten OECD countries. For each country a dataset of sectoral indicators of firm dynamics has been created using information from business registers. The patterns of firm entry, exit, survival and employment growth...
17 Apr 2000
Comparing Semi-Structural Methods to Estimate Unobserved Variables
Economists often seek to estimate unobserved variables, representing "equilibrium" or "expected" values of economic variables, as benchmarks against which observed, realised values of these variables may be evaluated. Such comparisons are often used as economic policy indicators, for example...
08 Aug 2007
Competition Law and Policy Indicators for the OECD countries
The aim of this paper is to construct indicators that measure the strength of policies aimed at preserving
and promoting market competition by empowering antitrust and sectoral authorities. The indicators, which
cover both general and sector-specific competition policies, extend previous OECD...
06 June 2002
Competition and Efficiency in Publicly Funded Services
This paper reviews the extent to which OECD countries have opened the provision of publicly funded services to competition among public and private suppliers. The paper lays out an analytical framework identifying the inherent incentive and efficiency issues associated with the provision of...
17 Jan 2002
Competition, Innovation and Productivity Growth
This paper reviews recent studies on the links between competition, innovation and productivity growth in the long run. From a long-run perspective, one can see that gains from competition-enhancing regulatory reform are likely to exceed static gains observed in the short run since firms will...
01 Jan 1997
Concept, Measurement and Policy Implications of the NAIRU
The use of the NAIRU-concept is not very widespread in Belgium. This may be partly due to an observed unemployment rate that is probably significantly higher than the NAIRU for most of the past two decades. Government policy to halve the administrative notion of unemployment by the beginning of...
01 Jan 1996
Confidence Indicators and Their Relationship to Changes in Economic Activity
This paper examines the usefulness of consumer and business surveys in assessing the cyclical position of the economy and for forecasting output movements. To that effect, after a brief review of the nature of sentiment measures, the empirical relationship between confidence indicators and...
04 Sep 2003
Consolidating Germany's Finances
While the German federal fiscal system has been successful in promoting a high standard of living even in regions whose economic capacity is low, tensions have emerged. Firstly, it has been difficult to ensure a sustainable fiscal policy, and the size of the overall deficit makes it difficult...
05 Dec 2006
Consolidating Macroeconomic Adjustment in Brazil
Brazil has made considerable progress in recent years towards consolidating macroeconomic stability, which is a key
framework condition for sustained growth. Monetary policy continues to respond swiftly to changes in the inflation
outlook, anchoring expectations. Fiscal policy has been guided...
21 Mar 2001
Contributions of Financial Systems to Growth in OECD Countries
The recent period of sustained high growth in the United States has drawn attention to its financial system and the efficiency with which it seems to be able to channel funds to new productive investment projects, particularly in hi-tech industries. This study examines the role played by the...
19 June 2003
Controlling Public Spending in Iceland
This paper analyses the main features of Iceland’s public expenditure and addresses some key policy issues. While overall public spending is not high compared with Iceland’s Nordic neighbours, other OECD countries have made more progress in reining it in. Budget consolidation efforts and...
21 June 2004
Coping with Ageing
In the face of the substantial ageing of population expected to occur in OECD countries over coming decades, policies that boost labour-force participation attract considerable interest. There remain large cross-country divergences in participation rates that are largely accounted for by...
01 July 2008
Coping with Labour Shortages
The Dutch labour market is functioning well, with employment and labour participation rates above OECD averages. Nevertheless, there are sizable pockets of under-activity, including social benefit recipients representing 17% of the working-age population, which could be mobilised in order to...
23 July 1999
Coping with Population Ageing in Australia
As in other OECD countries Australia’s population is ageing progressively. On unchanged policies, this will increase government outlays for public pensions and health care, causing a deterioration in budget balances, and reduce economic growth (mainly by lowering growth in the labour force)....
14 Aug 2002
Coping with Population Ageing in Hungary
This paper examines economic challenges posed by the combination of an ageing and declining population in Hungary and develops policy-oriented recommendations for addressing them. The authors identify the scale and specific properties of the demographic problem in Hungary where the population...
06 Mar 2002
Coping with Population Ageing in the Netherlands
Population ageing will reduce economic growth and increase the amount of resources that need to be transferred to the elderly, putting pressure on retirement-income- and healthcare insurance systems. The Netherlands is better placed than most OECD countries to meet these pressures because it...
13 Dec 2005
Coping with the Inevitable Adjustment in the US Current Account
In recent years the US current account deficit has grown to the point that most observers consider its level to be already unsustainable. Yet it seems set to continue to increase in the foreseeable future, with net
foreign debt likely to surge. This paper describes the present deficit from...
31 May 2010
Coping with the Job Crisis and Preparing for Ageing: The Case of Finland
Maintaining high participation and employment in the face of the recent recession and a rapidly ageing population are
major challenges for policy makers in Finland. The recession of the early 1990s showed that high unemployment can leave
long–lasting scars on labour markets, while rapid ageing...
01 Jan 1996
Corporate Governance, Competition and Performance
The paper examines interrelations between corporate governance, competition and performance. Traditional theories emphasise the importance of managerial incentives and disciplining in corporate governance, and how institutional arrangements affect financing. The paper argues that ownership and...
06 Dec 2007
Corporate Net Lending
Since 2001, OECD corporate net lending has risen sharply. This paper examines the main forces at
play behind this run-up and provides some insight into whether and how they might possibly unwind in the
future, a process that may already be underway. It shows in particular that, the increase is...
26 Aug 2003
Corporate Taxation of Foreign Direct Investment Income 1991-2001
This paper constructs indicators of tax burden on FDI in order to review their trends and cross-country patterns. Over the 1990s, the overall tax burden on inward FDI (measured by the effective marginal tax rates) fell by 8 percentage points, reflecting corporate tax reforms in some OECD...
01 Jan 1992
Costs of Reducing CO2 Emissions
This paper summarises and analyses results of the OECD's Model Comparisons Project. The aim of the project is to better understand differences across six global models in the cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In order to facilitate comparisons, key assumptions and reduction targets...
05 May 2010
Counter-cyclical Economic Policy
What changes are needed to make counter-cyclical economic policy more effective in the aftermath of the recent crisis? An important lesson from the severity of the recent recession is that policy in various areas will have to be more prudent during upswings and to build in greater safety...
07 June 2012
Credit Crises and the Shortcomings of Traditional Policy Responses
Economic downturns which have their roots in preceding credit excesses and debt overhang have tended
historically to be long lasting, whether the financial sector remained healthy or not. There are no good reasons
to believe the current global crisis will be any different. Moreover, it is...
28 May 2007
Cross-Country Analysis of Efficiency in OECD Health Care Sectors
A key policy challenge in most OECD countries is to improve outcomes of the health care system
while containing its costs. Benchmarking countries and identifying best practices to enhance public
spending cost-effectiveness would, in this regard, be a useful exercise. This paper presents three...
14 Sep 2012
Current Account Benchmarks for Turkey
Turkey’s current account deficit widened to almost 10% of GDP in 2011 and has been narrowing only gradually since. An important question is to what extent Turkey’s current account deficit is excessive. To explore this issue, one needs to establish benchmarks. In this paper current account...
09 Dec 2010
Current Account Imbalances in the Euro Area
This paper considers the increase in current account imbalances in euro area countries since the early 1990s. While the euro area as a whole has remained relatively close to external balance, the current account balances of individual countries have diverged: Spain, Greece and Portugal ran...
03 July 2009
Current Account Sustainability in Brazil
The possibility that a country’s external current account may adjust nonlinearly to shocks is attracting
increasing attention in the empirical literature. To shed further light on this issue in the context of
emerging-market economies, this paper uses Brazilian data to estimate the determinants...
21 Dec 2011
Current Issues in Managing Government Debt and Assets
The management of government debt and assets has important implications for fiscal positions. Debt managers aim to secure non-interrupted funding at lowest medium-term costs subject to risks. Massive crisis-related increases in government debt in most OECD countries and increased risks on the...
06 Dec 2012
Debt and Macroeconomic Stability
Debt levels have surged since the mid-1990s and have reached historic highs across the OECD. High
debt levels can create vulnerabilities, which amplify and transmit macroeconomic and asset price shocks.
Furthermore, high debt levels hinder the ability of households and enterprises to smooth...
07 Dec 2012
Debt and Macroeconomic Stability: An Overview of the Literature and Some Empirics
How does debt affect macroeconomic stability? The answer to this question has important
implications, because both public and private debt levels have reached historic highs across the OECD.
While accumulating debt can help smooth real activity, at high levels debt creates weaknesses in...
07 Dec 2012
Debt and Macroeconomic Stability: Case studies
Accumulating debt raises concerns about its implications for macroeconomic stability. This paper
sheds light on the implications of high indebtedness for the macroeconomic volatility by identifying the
main drivers of the evolution of debt in a set of countries. The country choice was based on...
04 Dec 2012
Debt and Macroeconomic Stability: Debt and the Business Cycle
Using a large panel of OECD countries this paper studies the link between debt and macroeconomic
stability by comparing the evolution of balance sheet aggregates and economic output in high- and lowdebt
environments. While the relationship between debt and economic growth has been extensively...
14 Apr 2008
Delivering Cost-Efficient Public Services in Health Care, Education and Housing in Chile
The Chilean authorities plan to raise budgetary allocations over the medium term for a variety of social programmes, including education, health care and housing. This incremental spending will need to be carried out in a cost-efficient manner to make sure that it yields commensurate...
01 Feb 1991
Deregulation, Credit Rationing, Financial Fragility and Economic Performance
This paper is one of four in this Working Paper Series, focusing on financial liberalisation, along with those of Miller and Weller, Kupiec and Blundell-Wignall and Browne. Its main purpose is to evaluate the imperfections still affecting deregulated credit markets. In particular, the paper...
12 Oct 2000
Determinants of Long-Term Growth
This paper examines the robustness of explanatory variables in cross-country economic growth regressions. It employs a novel approach, Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE), which constructs estimates as a weighted average of OLS estimates for every possible combination of included...
04 Mar 2004
Differences in Resilience Between the Euro-Area and US Economies
This paper is concerned with how stylised differences in monetary policy transmission mechanisms and product and labour market rigidities between the US and euro-area economies affect their resilience to temporary shocks. To address this issue, a small general equilibrium model with long-run...
03 Mar 2003
Discretionary Fiscal Policy and Elections
An early criticism of the Stability and Growth Pact has pointed to its asymmetric nature and the weak mechanisms to prevent politically-motivated fiscal policies: its constraints would bite in downswings but not in upswings, especially if in the latter the electoral cycle increases the...
30 Sep 2008
Do Corporate Taxes Reduce Productivity and Investment at the Firm Level?
This paper uses a stratified sample of firms across OECD economies over the period 1996-2004 to analyse
the effects of corporate taxes on productivity and investment. Applying a differences-in-differences
estimation strategy which exploits differential effects of corporate taxes on firms with...
09 Mar 2012
Do House Prices Impact Consumption and Interest Rate?
This paper investigates the existence of significant spillovers from the housing sector onto the wider economy for the seven major OECD countries using Uhlig's (2005) agnostic identification procedure. This method allows a housing demand shock to be identified in a six-variable VAR model by...